First things first: RADIO INTERVIEW TODAYIf you read this early today, you can catch my interview on "Writing and Publishing Radio" with host Carol Topp at 12Noon. Click the link and join me as I discuss my experiences in the world of publishing. I'll also share tips and methods that I've found helpful in my writing life. The program runs through 12:30pm.
Second: The winner of Ray Comfort's book, God Has a Wonderful Plan for Your Life: The Myth of the Modern Message, is "Chaplain Debbie."
(There are fringe benefits to following my blog! :) Debbie has recently won TWO books from Woman of Faith.)
However--the fact that incredibly few people commented for a chance to win this book makes me wonder:
Is the Church Afraid?
The name of Comfort's book, God Has A Wonderful Plan For Your Life sounds great, doesn't it? But the subtitle: THE MYTH OF THE MODERN MESSAGE , is, I believe, what scared some away. I think some of us may not be ready to face that the modern message of "Come to Christ and all your problems will disappear," just isn't scriptural. I could get into a long essay on this issue, but that's not what I see my blog as being about. (Setting anyone straight on anything. There are far too many things I need to be set straight on!)
But I have to admit it gave me pause that so few wanted a copy of this book. Comfort's style is to hit hard and cut through smokescreens to the truth. In this case, the truth he points out is that many of us are called to certain trials, to lives of sacrifice, and, if you look around the world, to martyrdom.
Not a popular message.
Of course, we have the Holy Spirit with us when we suffer, and that makes all the difference. But suffering is still, well, suffering. It hurts.
Are you one who wouldn't want to know if God's plan is NOT something you would call "wonderful"?
Perhaps we all are, to some degree.
I find myself agreeing with Ray more often than not, however. The modern church too often gives an emotional call to Christ, promising that to be "saved," means that all one's problems will disappear. We forget that when Jesus revealed himself to that former Christian-hater, Saul, he promised to show him "how many things he must suffer for (Christ's) Name."
The fact of the matter is, sinners need to come to Christ not because they are guaranteed problem-free lives, but because without Him they are headed to hell. We were all in that same spot: "Sinners in the hands of an angry God." When we come to Christ with sincere repentance we are guaranteed something wonderful: Eternal Life in God's presence. Heaven itself. But often this isn't the message the church seems to emphasize.
Yet, if we would live for Jesus in this world of sin, we WILL suffer. It isn't easy to try and live like Christ when we've got the world, the flesh and the devil as our adversaries. We all must suffer for Christ.
The fact of the matter is, sinners need to come to Christ not because they are guaranteed problem-free lives, but because without Him they are headed to hell. We were all in that same spot: "Sinners in the hands of an angry God."
But like Him, we are all headed for glory.
Glory. That's the flip side of the suffering coin. Personally, I look forward to it with great anticipation.
How about you?
Any thoughts on this issue?
As always, all commenters are entered in a drawing for the current giveaway, which, this week is An English Christmas by Paula Tanner Girard. *(US only, sorry). Drawing held on December 7, 2012.
An English Christmas is copyrighted 2001 but isn't in print anymore, not even on Amazon, so this is an excellent opportunity to get your hands on a compilation of two Christmas regency stories. (It is two books in one: A Father For Christmas, and A Husband For Christmas.) I must add a caveat: It is not a Christian historical, but tame, as far as secular regencies go.
I wouldn't offer the book as a giveaway if I didn't enjoy it, myself. In fact, I find the stories quite fun, so I think you will, too.
PS: Have you subscribed to this blog, yet? Enter your email in the box at the right and you'll get updates in your inbox. You'll never miss a giveaway.
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